More School Boards Oppose Focus on FCAT
May 31, 2012 | WMFE - The Broward County School Board has become the fourth in Florida to pass a resolution opposing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test as the primary means for measuring student progress. And now, an Orange County School Board member is leading a task force that will ask state education officials to re-evaluate the FCAT next month.
Rick Roach of the Orange County School Board agrees with Broward County’s new resolution calling the FCAT "an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness." Roach put together a task force to investigate not only the method of standardized testing, but the test itself.
In fact, he sat down and took parts of the 10th grade FCAT...and didn’t do so well. He says what he found on the test surprised him.
“In many cases, some of the more rigorous questions have 2 or even 3 answers that are very, very similar and could be supported as an answer," he says. "But the test maker has one particular answer in mind and all the other ones are zero value.”
The task force concluded that the State Board of Education should be encouraged to revamp its testing and accountability methods, and add more variety to the way student progress is measured. He presented the findings to the ten-county Central Florida School Board Coalition.
“That resulted in a very very favorable decision by the coalition who are now taking this entire issue to the Florida School Board Association, all 67 counties, in mid-June," Roach says. "That’s now on the agenda as an emergency item.”
The Florida School Board Association meeting takes place in Tampa.
The other three Florida counties that have voted in opposition to the FCAT are Martin, Saint Lucie and Palm Beach.